Conclusion

The arguments above all suggest a single conclusion. Instituting legislation to bar or limit the employment of cloning technology would seriously violate our commitment to liberty. Similarly, panels consisting of representatives of particular political agendas which issue constraining policies that actually circumvent the democratic process and function as law, and also the tyranny of the majority, and also the blaring voice of vocal minorities, can all be enemies of liberty. Instead of...

Cell Nuclear Replacement and Cloning

Cell nuclear replacement (CNR) involves the replacement of the nucleus of an egg with the nucleus of a cell from another individual (to produce an embryo that is the clone of the donor). The implantation of such an embryo in a woman (commonly called reproductive cloning) was made a specific criminal offense by the Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001. There have been calls to prohibit the use of CNR for research purposes as well. The majority scientific view seems to be that CNR is more likely...

Why Take Ethics Seriously

What does human cloning have to do with ethics Or, more accurately, why should human cloning have anything to do with ethics Once the initial frenzy over the cloning of Dolly the sheep had abated, a large number of people began to express skepticism or even outright hostility to the idea that ethics had anything of value to say about human cloning. Biologist Lee Silver spoke for many when he wrote, In a society that values individual freedom above all else, it is hard to find any legitimate...

The Right To Make Reproductive Decisions

The right to make decisions about whether or not to bear children is constitutionally protected under the constitutional right to privacy20 and the constitutional right to liberty.21 The U.S. Supreme Court in 1992 reaffirmed the recognized protection accorded the liberty relating to intimate relationships, the family, and decisions about whether or not to beget or bear a child.22 Early decisions protected married couples' right to privacy to make procreative decisions, but later decisions...

Those Wonderful Cumulus Cells

Her name is Jayne, and she is a divorced mother of an 8-year-old son. Jayne has come to the fertility clinic because she wants to get pregnant again she wants to have a second child before her body says it's too late. Since her divorce, Jayne has dated various men, but none of these relationships was very serious. Indeed, none of the men she's slept with since she left her husband have met the very high standards she's set for the ideal father of her next child....

Narratives Of Control

The messages evoked by Dolly have ranged from promises of progress to portents of peril, from images of miracles to visions of apocalypse. There were many calls for regulation and for a moratorium on cloning experiments. Just a week after the cloning of Dolly, President Clinton issued a directive banning the use of federal funds to support research on the cloning of human beings. So too, the president of France, the president of the European Commission, the director-general of Unesco, and the...

Postscript 18 Months Later

As we have indicated, the press coverage of Dolly continued after the initial excitement, albeit somewhat abated. It was revivified in January 1998 when the American Dr. Richard Seed announced plans to finance human cloning and, later in the month, when the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) together with the Human Genetics Advisory Commission (HGAC) announced a public consultation on human cloning. At first sight, the Seed affair appears to highlight some of the themes...

Biological Dimensions Of Human Cloning

While there is an accepted biological definition of cellular cloning, and there are now well-understood (indeed patented) practices for the transfer of nuclei from embryos or somatic cells into enucleated eggs, it is still not possible to define a cloned mammal organism. That this is so has not gone unnoticed in the biological and philosophical literature of the latter part of this century. Yet now that mammalian cloned organisms are among us, and human clones seem imminent, we must ask again...

Theories Of Development

The enigmas of human development have concerned philosophers and naturalists since people first began to wonder how plants and animals emerged from the products of fertilization.7 Despite the fact that there is no resemblance between the physical appearance of the seed and the form of the adult organism, the plant or animal to which it gives rise is an approximate replica of its progenitors. The earliest Greek explanation was preformation that is, the seed contains all adult structures in...

The Connection Between Genotype And Phenotype

For the student of biology, cloning is a powerful and instructive method with great potential for deepening our understanding of the mechanisms of differentiation during development. The potential of a given genotype can only be estimated from the varied manifestations of the phenotype over as wide a range of environments as are compatible with its survival. The wider the range of environments, the greater the diversity observed in the phe-notypic manifestations of the one genotype. Human...

The Regulation of Technology

Everybody recognizes that most of the problems in medical ethics arise, these days, from innovations in medical technology. We would not have had to lay down laws or ethical guidelines about assisted reproduction had it not been for the new technology of in vitro fertilization, which produced the first IVF baby in 1978. We would not be currently anxious about the ethics of possible human cloning had it not been for the production in Edinburgh of Dolly, the lamb whose birth resulted from the...

Egg Cell Nuclear Transfer

Imagine a young woman who has learned that a disease recurring on her mother's side of the family has been diagnosed in her and has a genetic origin. The disease, mitochondrial encephalomyopathy with lactic acidosis and strokelike episodes (MELAS), results in neuromuscular degeneration at midlife, seizures, heart failure, and death-generally before age 40.27 The disorder is linked to mutations in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which resides in the cytoplasm of all body cells and eggs, but not...

The Legal Landscape

In the United States there is no comprehensive regulatory scheme for IVF and embryo research. Human IVF has been developed and advanced in the private sector. More than 400 clinics operate with no federal money and little federal oversight. Guidelines have been developed by the industry, but compliance is voluntary.18 There is also a set of ethical considerations, published by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in 1994.19 According to biologist Prof. Lee Silver, There are hundreds...